The other morning I woke up and immediately things were weighing on my mind, challenges that I constantly tell God about and pray over.
I was running late and so had less time than I wanted to spend reading the Bible before my son woke up. I was desperate to really receive revelation from God and so I prayed God would speak to me in just those few minutes.
I find this whole parenting job fascinating. Some days it’s a breeze, our children respond instantly to our reminders and warnings about behaviour. They are fun and loving and it all just feels easy, like we’re finally getting on top of this parenting thing. And then other days… well you feel like it’s an endless cycle of setting boundaries and them being crossed, crying out to God for wisdom, phoning friends for advice, constant battles with a toddler that could so easily be resolved if they just listened the first time and by about 3pm you’re desperate for your husband to come through the door.
I’ve been thinking about the importance of our words recently. It’s something I’ve felt challenged about for a long time and over the last week I’ve started noticing more and more reference to this in the Bible. We all know what we say is important, but just how much do our words affect? Here’s why I think our words literally have the power to change our life.
As I write this my son’s at Playschool. I’m sat here with a cuppa and cheeky piece of chocolate cake and actually getting time to sit and write, something I love and I’ll be honest, I feel energised. Getting time to myself isn’t something I have a lot of chance to do and yet I’m starting to realise just how important it is.
Do you ever feel guilty? Do you feel bad about little things and worry what if you’ve got it wrong? It’s a challenge for many of us mums, it’s not fun and the question is how do we avoid that unexpected motherhood guilt?
No one really warns you about those feelings of guilt that can seem to suddenly bombard us as soon as we give birth to our little ones. I still remember those early days of motherhood, how easy it was to feel bad. How I felt guilty about so many things such as my decision to stop breast-feeding or the odd times I asked my husband to settle our son instead of me. This new weight of responsibility had suddenly been handed to me and alongside my great love for my son came feelings of guilt over many little things and a striving to be perfect.
I love bedtime with my son. Not because he goes to sleep and mummy gets a break (although that is always nice!), but because I believe it’s a massively important part of the day and one that could so easily be overlooked in the rush to get the lights out. The question is are we using this time to really impact our children or is this just a quick kiss goodnight before we rush downstairs to put the TV on and our feet up.
I don’t know about you but some days it’s easy to feel I’m just going through the motions. Filling my day waiting for Alan to walk in the door before dinner. Going through the bedtime routine so we can get to that 7pm deadline when I can grab even 30 undisturbed minutes to myself. Waiting for the weekend when we have time as a family. But it struck me recently, am I wishing away motherhood?
Alan and I had waited a long time to start trying for another baby. My first labour was traumatic in many ways and the months that followed weren’t easy. A second baby was never in question but the timing was important. Roll on three years and the timing was right, after months of trying, complications along the way, God gave me a promise – a baby by the end of 2015.
Are we really available to our children? Do we make time for them and their passions in our busy schedules? Are we really present when we’re with them, or are we also elsewhere?
A few months back I sat in a coffee shop with my family and glanced over at four teenage boys sat together enjoying a coffee. Four friends enjoying time together, or so you’d have thought. Actually three of them sat on their phones engrossed with what they were reading and one sat there watching the others and looking around. This went on the whole 20 minutes I sat in the coffee shop.
Discipline always raises a lot of questions: should I discipline my child? From what age? How do I do it? What strategies should I use? When and where should I enforce it?
When it comes to discipline, there are countless questions and answers on how best to do it. But one thing that is certain, when you are raising your child you will need to discipline them. If you don’t the outcome won’t be pretty.